Saturday, 31 May 2014

Stashdown #5: May 2014

I'm pleased to recount yarn movement in the right direction this month. Yes, it's finally gone down in a month!

I only bought one skein of orange yarn this month. 115 yards in. I have puffin plans for this yarn... but in the meantime, I made a mini hat that looks like an orange:

I used up yarn as follows:

308 yards on the Hydrangea socks
76 yards making mini-hats, including the orange one pictured above
96 yards on blanket squares for group projects. There were three squares, one 8 inch and two 5 inch.
156 yards making yet another tea cosy to add to my collection.

Altogether that's 636 yards out.

I did also make this cute little panda, but that was using yarn supplied as a kit free with a magazine so it doesn't have any impact on stashdown.

Here's my month end update.

Brought forward from last month +2845
Yarn in +115
Yarn out -636
Net for month -521
YTD  +2324

Still quite a way to go to zero!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Mushroom Pouch

This weekend, there was a sight in my house that you don't see every day:

Yep, my poor, neglected sewing machine, out of its case and in use.

My original plan had been to sew a lunchbag out of a magazine pattern. However, unless you're a magician, you can't get 2 pieces 37 x 20 cms, 2 pieces 19 x 40 cms, and 4 pieces 37 x 5.5 cms, out of one Fat Quarter. I hadn't enough fabric. Grr. It does annoy me that publications don't take sufficient care. I feel I really shouldn't have to do a load of maths myself to work out fabric requirements when I'm working from a published pattern.

Anyway, I didn't let it stop me. I'd happened to pick up a library book on Saturday which had a very pretty pattern in it, and when I looked, I had a 7 inch zip on hand, and fabric with my favourite fly agarics printed on it, so I set to work.

I'm really pleased with how the zip went in, and the top-stitching I did on this one. A real improvement, probably caused by extreme caution with my approach. It was so long since I'd done any sewing, I took it very slowly.

I sewed a piece of tape as a hanging / holding loop.

Green leafy fabric as lining. I'm really pleased with it, and I didn't find any pattern errors! You can find it in a book called Everyday Handmade. It's part of a set with a little felt pincushion and needlecase which I'm now eyeing up.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Fans of Dr Who

The evidence.

No. 1: Cup of tea:

The mug on the left shows my Doctor. The one on the right is ds's Doctor.

No. 2: Knitting:

Blanket square, 8 ins,  for charitable purposes.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Finished Socks

My socks are done, finally, after having to knit one sock nearly twice owing to faulty counting at cast on!

This yarn came in a swap parcel a couple of years ago, so I'm really pleased to have finally used it. Such lovely colours. I rarely buy green yarn, or any containing it, but perhaps I need to change my attitude to that!

These socks are to replace a handknit pair I made previously that have worn out. I already darned them at the toes, but then they wore out on the soles and if didn't consider them salvageable. Must make more socks to even out the wearing a little!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Knitting with a Purpose

Since the start of the year, I've been knitting a few little hats for the Age UK/ Innocent Smoothie company's Big Knit Campaign, an annual fundraising effort to generate resources to support Age UK's practical and emotional support to older people.

I made my thirteenth little hat yesterday:

to add to the other twelve I made previously:

They are all different, and that's because I like a lot of variety in my knitting. There are some themes though. I have four House Colours hats for Gryffindor, Hufflepuff Ravenclaw and Slytherin.

All of my mini hats are made from stash scraps, so they are helping me to stash down. Although, at approx 14 yards per hat (including embellishments like pompoms) I would have to make a lot to have a significant impact. I do plan to make more. They are great little projects to score points for my team over in the House Cup; I like making them; I feel good about them because they are for charity and I take trouble over them to make sure they are properly finished and hopefully attractive enough for people to want to buy them in due course.

Do you knit or crochet for charity? Feel free to share your information about it in the Comments box!

Monday, 5 May 2014


This weekend, ds was away at scout camp, so dh and I took the opportunity to enjoy some time exploring the great outdoors ourselves. We didn't have to go too far from home to see some lovely sights.

On Saturday, we went to look at something beautiful, and seasonal, in a little wood quite close to us. 

At this time of year, English bluebells are a very lovely sight. 

On Sunday, we drove a bit further and went for a walk in the Derbyshire countryside near to Hathersage.

There were lots of sheep around, ready for my future yarn! 

It was warm enough to sit outdoors and enjoy ice-creams after our hike.

I feel refreshed after spending so much time outside and away from the computer. Plus, whilst in the car, I made great progress on my socks. Nearly done ;)

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Stashdown #4: April 2014

Ooh, I am a bad stashdowner! I bought lots of yarn in April!

1044 of Bergere de France magic+, for a sweater for ds
492 of Bergere de France origine cachemire, for which I have hat plans
147 yards of Noro aya, for which I have, er, no plans at all! But it was pretty! And pink! whereas all the other yarn was in dark, masculine (boring) colours.

I make that 1683 yards in.

I guess I'll try and knit some of it up in May.

I was hoping to have yarn out in April, as I cast on a pair of socks, but unfortuately when I got to the second heel, I realised I had cast on too few stitches on the second sock, so I had to rip it right out. That means I haven't finished the socks yet, so I can't count the yarn out. I have less than half a sock to go, though, so I should finish them early in May.

Total from last month
New YTD +2835.